Problem-Focused Coping Strategies Predict Posttraumatic Growth in Veterans With Lower-Limb Amputations

TUNCAY T., Musabak I.

JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SERVICE RESEARCH, vol.41, no.4, pp.466-483, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier


A growing body of research has examined the subsequent negative psychosocial changes and the related stress reactions in amputee military veterans. Although these studies help characterize the harmful effects of combat-related amputation, little research has examined factors that may enhance posttraumatic growth (PTG)-positive life changes experienced-as a result of amputation in this population. The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between PTG, sociodemographic factors, amputation-related variables, and coping strategies in 106 Turkish military veterans (M-age = 23.40 +/- 2.62 years) injured in combat operations with lower-limb amputations. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that problem-focused coping strategies were significant predictors of PTG. Sociodemographic and amputation-related factors did not contribute to PTG. The favorable effects of certain coping strategies, such as religion, acceptance, planning, and active coping, and the negative effects of other coping strategies, such as denial and behavioral disengagement, suggest the potential benefits of interventions to reduce reliance on emotion-focused coping and stimulate more problem-focused strategies to coping with difficulties and challenges to facilitate PTG. Future studies should explore the role of social environmental variables (such as family functioning and support, attitudes toward veterans, etc.), in addition to personal resources, in fostering PTG in amputee veterans.